Amy S.Y. Lee, Ph.D.


Amy S.Y. Lee, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Cancer Immunology and Virology ; Cell Biology
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School
450 Brookline Ave. Smith Building 522.
City, State, ZIP
Boston, MA 02215
(617) 632-4105
[email protected]
Research field
Molecular Biology
Award year


The Lee lab will investigate how cells become specialized by selecting which specific proteins they will produce. Although they may contain the same genetic information, different cell types in the body look and behave very differently—in large part because they make different proteins. The instructions for making these proteins are provided by molecules called messenger RNAs. As a postdoctoral fellow, I discovered that a protein complex called eIF3 selectively binds to particular messenger RNA molecules, thereby directing the synthesis of specific proteins. Now, using a suite of cutting-edge techniques in biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, and computational and structural analyses, our lab will catalog the complete set of messenger RNAs recognized by eIF3 and analyze the sequences or structural features that distinguish them. We will also assess how depletion of eIF3 alters the development and proliferation of cells. Because eIF3 is overproduced in glioblastomas and breast and colon cancers, our findings could lead to the development of drugs that block the binding of eIF3 to messenger RNAs that promote inappropriate proliferation or malignant cell behavior.

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